The Right Way to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

It’s a situation that many of us find ourselves in: You know that you’re ready for more responsibility at work and that you’re up to the task. You like what you do, but you’re ready for the next challenge (and hopefully a pay raise). So, what’s the right way to go about asking your boss for more responsibility?

Here are five steps for doing just that:  

Make sure your work is up to par.

It should go without saying, but before you do anything, you’ll want to do a little professional self-examination. Are you fulfilling your current work responsibilities? Are you going above and beyond? What would your coworkers say? Your supervisor? If you’re not cutting it in your current position, there’s absolutely no reason that your boss would consider you for a promotion. Make sure you have some ground to stand on when you do finally pop the question.   

Think about what additional responsibilities you want.

You’re not likely to get very far if you march into your boss’s office and say, “I’d like more responsibility.” That’s too broad. It’s a far better idea to develop some ideas ahead of time about what you want that additional responsibility to look like. Have a plan of what duties you’d be taking on and how that might affect other team members’ jobs and your own. And try to situate your ask strategically — perhaps there’s an area of the company that could use extra help or a team that’s been struggling without a leader. Your ask might just come at the perfect time.  

Ask for a meeting with your boss.

Now that you’re a little better prepared, it’s time to set up a meeting with your boss. If you already have a pre-scheduled one-on-one meeting with your boss, you can use that time to broach the subject. Otherwise, you’ll need to schedule a meeting specifically for this purpose. Ideally, you’ll want to have at least 15 minutes or so to talk things over. 

Be clear, brief, and positive.

When you actually go about asking, keep things simple and quick. Remind your boss about the great work you’ve been doing and make it clear that you’re ready for more. And don’t forget to explain what you’d like to take on and how that might impact other departments and team members. 

Be patient.

Remember that your boss might need some time to consider what you’ve proposed. If you don’t hear anything for a few days, don’t panic. It’s important to be patient with the process!  

Asking for more responsibility at work can be a little nerve-wracking…but do it right, and you stand the best chance of moving on to your next challenge. And if you’re ready to look at positions outside your company, contact High Profile online or by calling 972-991-7900. We’re here for you!